Discussion Forums - Questions about PaperBackSwap Questions about PaperBackSwap

Topic: Price for postage way off...

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Price for postage way off...
Date Posted: 3/17/2014 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
Back To Top

Does this matter?  I print the address label and then take it to the P.O.  The  label said $3.69.  I thought that was a bit high and I was right.  It was only $2.69.  I actually thought about it while I was on here so thought I would ask.  Thanks.

Date Posted: 3/17/2014 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
Back To Top

It won't matter if you are taking it to the Post Office.  They'll weigh it.  However there's info here on how you can edit the listing to correct the weight permanently for the next person who uses the listing:


The *recommended postage* on my wrapper is/was wrong!

The 'recommended postage' on the PBS wrapper is usually correct, but not always. Our database is compiled elsewhere, and it includes some inaccuracies, including the weight of some books. The weight of a book as recorded in the database determines the "required postage" that appears on the PBS Wrapper.

You can see, and adjust, the weight estimate on the Wrapper Settings page when you go to print a wrapper.  Adjusting it to the correct weight will ensure that correct postage prints out.  If you do not have a postal scale, you can take the wrapped book to the PO to be weighed.

This is particularly important if you are using PBS Printed Postage--check and adjust the weight before you print!  Printed Postage can't be refunded after it is printed.

If you want to change the weight of the book in the database permanently, so that no one else has trouble with this for this book in future, you can submit a correction to our Data Correction volunteers.

  • To submit the correct weight of a book to the PBS Database:
  1. Click "More Options" to the right of the book cover image on the Book Details page and choose Edit Book Data from the dropdown menu (you can also access Edit Book Data from the Member Tools page, which is linked from the bottom of any page on the site).
  2. Enter the ISBN for the book and click Next->
  3. Enter/adjust the weight of the book (this will be on your postal receipt) on the next page, leaving any correct information in place
  4. Click Submit.
  • This information will be submitted to our editing volunteers, and the database should be corrected in a few days.

Please know that any effort you make to improve the accuracy of the database is greatly appreciated.

Last Edited on: 3/17/14 1:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/17/2014 4:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,234
Back To Top

Basically. Media Mail postage is priced by the weight of the package, in 1 pound increments.

PBS is able to "guess" how much the postage should be, based on book weights which are entered into the PBS database, for each book. Sometimes the weigts are not correct in the PBS database, which causes wrappers to print with either the wrong suggested postage, or the wrong actual postage (for printed postage users).

The way to fix it for other people is to edit the book listing data as Patty describes.


Date Posted: 3/17/2014 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

Books that are often posted are more likely to be correct.  Every now and then I see a weight that is so far off, I wonder if it comes from a wholeseller that has a bundle of textbooks rather than a single book.

Date Posted: 3/17/2014 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,357
Back To Top

Some books are imported into the database with the dimensions of 20 inches high, 20 inches wide, and 20 inches thick, and a weight of 20 pounds.  indecision  I figure it's some kind of database default that is misinterpreted when the data is transferred, but I really have no clue.  I do have a postage scale though, which I use whenever I print postage, entering the correct weight on the print wrapper page.  I think this makes me clueless and scaly.

Last Edited on: 3/18/14 2:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2014 12:57 AM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
Back To Top

"Book club" edition books can be off by quite a bit in weight/postage too.  Since book club edition books are usually smaller than traditional hard covers, but usually share the same ISBN, the weight is often wrong for the BC edition.  Since I used Printed Postage, I invested in a postal scale and override the suggested weight when necessary.

Date Posted: 3/18/2014 4:56 AM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
Posts: 11,956
Back To Top

I had a paperback book come up as weighing over 5 pounds.  Talk about wrong weight!  I think the weight was put into the wrong category, lbs instead of ounces.  But I am glad I bought a small scale.   Post Offices have old scales for sale from time to time; I got one at my thrift store for $1.00.  

Last Edited on: 3/18/14 6:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/18/2014 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 4,888
Back To Top

The weights are always off for me so that is why I weigh everything before I purchase postage. They've ranged from way under to way over.